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World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Dec 7;11(45):7109-17.

Associations between gamma-glutamyl transferase, metabolic abnormalities and inflammation in healthy subjects from a population-based cohort: a possible implication for oxidative stress.

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Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Universitao di Torino, Corso Dogliotti 14, 10126 Torino, Italy.



To examine the relationships between gamma-glutamyl-transferase (GGT), alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate-aminotransferase (AST) and various metabolic parameters, C-reactive protein (CRP) and an oxidative stress marker (nitrotyrosine, NT) in subjects without any metabolic abnormalities from a population-based sample.


Two hundred and five subjects with normal body mass index (BMI), glucose tolerance, and without any metabolic abnormality were studied out of 1 339 subjects, without known liver diseases, alcohol abuse or use of hepatotoxic drugs, who are representative of the 45-64 aged population of Asti (north-western Italy).


In all patients metabolic parameters and hs-CRP levels linearly increase from the lowest to the highest ALT and GGT tertiles, while in subjects without metabolic abnormalities, there is a significant association between fasting glucose, uric acid, waist circumference, hs-CRP, triglyceride values, and GGT levels. In these subjects, male sex, higher hs-CRP and glucose levels are associated with GGT levels in a multiple regression model, after adjustments for multiple confounders. In the same model, median NT levels are significantly associated with the increasing GGT tertile (beta = 1.06; 95%CI 0.67-1.45), but not with the AST and ALT tertiles. In a multiple regression model, after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, waist, smoking, and alcohol consumption, both NT (beta = 0.05; 95%CI 0.02-0.08) and hs-CRP levels (beta = 0.09; 95%CI 0.03-0.15) are significantly associated with fasting glycemia.


GGT, an easy, universally standardized and available measurement, could represent an early marker of sub-clinical inflammation and oxidative stress in otherwise healthy individuals. Prospective studies are needed to establish if GGT could predict future diabetes in these subjects.

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